As the transfer window closed last night (finally!), we’ll take a look back at some of the transfers that have taken place. Now, these are purely based on my personal opinion, so I’m pretty sure that most of you would disagree and I’m also pretty sure I’ll miss quite a few because I’m just stating the transfers that I’ve heard of during this European transfer window. I’ve put a list made up of nothing but some random categories that I’ve come up with, but which I think make sense. For some of the categories there are several options, whereas for some, I could only think of one option. You can help me out if you think of anything else, but here they are…
Best Deal of the summer:
Juan Mata to Chelsea for 27 million Euros. In a world where Andy Carroll is worth 40 million Euros, you know that a player of Mata’s ability is worth much more than that, especially for a Chelsea team with ageing midfielders. Not playing for Barca or Real Madrid in Spain is usually a handicap for Spanish players, but now that Mata’s moved abroad he should get the recognition he deserves.
Clubs that have had the best summer:
I don’t know who to choose between the 3 big sugar daddies of Europe. Manchester City with their ability to buy anyone they want and signing many World Class players this summer; Roma, who now have their own sugar daddy and have signed 11 players who are all capable of forming an entire new starting line-up; or Paris St Germain who signed Javier Pastore for 40 million Euros when Europe’s elite were all after him.
Clubs that have had the worst summer:
North London, just like during the riots a few weeks ago, went through a rough time this summer. Arsenal lost several key players during the summer only to replace them at the last minute of the transfer window. Tottenham on the other hand had all their plans halted because of Luka Modric’s sulking for a move to Chelsea – which never happened.
Most admirable move:
Joe Cole to Lille on loan. A few weeks back I wrote about English players not moving abroad, but I also mentioned that I’m pretty sure that an average English footballer would succeed abroad. Joe Cole has become average nowadays, and he’s joined French Champions Lille. Something tells me he’ll do well there, even though it’s only a loan. Keep an eye out for this one.
Mauro Zarate to Inter Milan on loan from Lazio. If he's not good enough to stay at Lazio (or Birmingham City!), how can he be good enough for Inter? A move that makes no sense at all.
Most boring transfer saga:
Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona. Watching paint dry is more fun. I can’t even be bothered to write about this.
Jordan Henderson – 25 million Euros to Liverpool from Sunderland. How on earth is he worth that much we’ll never know. Quite a big price tag for a player who has only had 2 good months in his entire Premier League career so far. Has a lot to prove.
Owen Hargreaves to Manchester City on a free. It’s only a one-year contract, and for free, but it seems those Youtube videos (click here) of his worked. I’m wondering his knees will get him through the entire season. A World Class player on his day; but it hasn’t been his day for about 3 years. A gamble worth taking - especially when money and salaries is the least of your concerns.
Worth much more than that:
Raul Meireles to Chelsea from Liverpool for 10 million Euros. I don’t get it. Do Liverpool intentionally sell their best players? Or more specifically their creative central midfielders? Xavi Alonso, Yossi Benayoun, and now Meireles… those are 3 very creative players that have left Merseyside on the cheap over the past few years and I still don’t get why. Expect Meireles to work wonders at Chelsea alongside Mata.
Players that should have left but didn’t:
Luka Modric to absolutely nowhere. 25 million, 35 million and then 40 million fees all rejected by Spurs from Chelsea. A message to the rest of the Football world loud and clear - when a player is under a contract, the club decides when, where and who to sell him to, regardless of the player’s desires. Modric can sulk all he wants. He’s staying at Spurs for now.
Wesley Sneijder to absolutely nowhere. Inter need the money, and Eto’o’s move to Russia helped them on that end. Sneijder could have moved absolutely anywhere he wanted to this summer, and should have, but he decided to stay in Milan. Shame.
Biggest “WTF just happened” transfer:
Samuel Eto’o to Anzhi Makhachkala (or something like that). Money talks. He'll be earning 20.5 million Euros a season. Approximately $500,000 a week. Life is sad.
Best last minute moves:
Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun to Arsenal. Why did it take Arsenal so long to react in the transfer market? Was it the brutal defeat at Old Trafford which caused it? Regardless of those questions, Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun will fit in perfectly in at the Emirates stadium and in particular with Arsenal’s style of play.
Most random move of the summer:
Craig Bellamy to Liverpool for free. No one would have expected this move at the start of the summer. He left Liverpool a few years back with a bang. Literally. Bashing a golf club into the face of his former team-mate John Arne Riise. A chaotic player with bags of talent, he should do well under Kenny Daglish. Not unless he decides to smash someone’s face again.
The “he’s still got it” moves:
Ruud Van Nistelrooy to Malaga, I’m expecting him to finish top scorer in Spain, behind the obvious two. Andrea Pirlo to Juventus on a free, unbelievable player who will give Juve the sort of stability they crave for in the midfield (why didn't anyone else go for him). Miroslav Klose to Lazio on a free. That’s right, he’s not finished yet, and I expect the German to bang them in for fun in Italy, as he always had.